William E. Layton, Jr.

William E. Layton, Jr., known to friends and family as Bill, died peacefully in his home on the morning of Friday, September 8, 2023.  A native Virginian, Bill was born and raised in Chesapeake, Virginia.

Graduating high school early, Bill began his career in 1954 in the retail industry as a retail buyer for fine domestics and children’s clothing.  He served as a buyer and grew to leadership for several prominent East Coast retailers, including Paul H. Rose, W.G. Schwartz, the Garfield, Brooks Brothers, the Miller and Rhoades establishments, Smith & Welton Stores, and Farm Fresh Supermarkets.  In 1984, Bill exited retail management to join the Colonial Williamsburg Foundation, where he held several retail-focused roles, including managing Fine Gifts for the Williamsburg Inn, Carter’s Grove Plantation, and Director of Corporate Gifts.  During this time, he was especially proud to receive and serve past Presidents, Dignitaries, Diplomats, and Celebrities.  He retired from the Foundation in 1992 to found Layton & Associates, an independent representative of seven manufacturers and publishers. But in 1996, his love of Williamsburg called him to a role serving the Williamsburg Chamber of Commerce, from which he retired in 2002.  He retired from Layton & Associates in 2019.

A dedicated husband, father, grandfather, and great-grandfather, he was preceded in death by his grandson, Andrew L. Layton of Poquoson; he is survived by his devoted wife and partner of 67 years, Sara L. Layton (Joy) of Newport News; his son William G. (Bill) and Nicola (Nikki) U. Layton; his daughter Linda L. and David R. Vernon;  his grandchildren Holly L. and M. Travis Butler, David C. Vernon, Caroline M. and Brock H. Verworn, W. Anthony (Tony) Layton, Christina N. Vernon, and William T. Vernon; his great-grandchildren Jordyn N. Butler, Ayden C. Vernon, Owen M. Verworn, and David W. Vernon.

The family is holding an informal gathering at Peninsula Funeral Home on Wednesday, September 13, between 3:00-5:00 p.m. and invites friends and family to join them in honoring Bill.

Arrangements are under the care of Peninsula Funeral Home, 11144 Warwick Blvd., Newport News, VA 23111.


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